Rachel Dawes
Rachel Dawes
Name Rachel Dawes
Other Aliases None
Alignment Good
Depicted By Katie Holmes
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Emma Lockhart
Appeared In Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
"Dear Bruce. I need to be honest and clear. I'm going to marry Harvey Dent. I love him, and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. When I told you that if Gotham no longer needed Batman we could be together, I meant it. But now I'm sure the day won't come when you no longer need Batman. I hope it does; and if it does I will be there, but as your friend. I'm sorry to let you down. If you lose your faith in me, please keep your faith in people. Love, now and always, Rachel."
―Rachel Dawes' letter to Bruce, which Alfred burned following Rachel's death to spare Bruce pain of reading it. [src]

Rachel Dawes is the deuteragonist in Batman Begins and the tritagonist in The Dark Knight. She was an assistant District Attorney in Gotham City, and a childhood friend and love interest of Bruce Wayne.


Early LifeEdit

Rachel is a childhood friend to Bruce Wayne. Rachel's mother worked for Bruce's parents, and the two would often play together on the grounds of Wayne Manor. After Bruce's parents are murdered by Joe Chill, Rachel's mother seeks other employment and leaves Wayne Manor with Rachel. She and Bruce remain close even after he fell in the batcave, but their friendship is never the same.

Rachel enrolls in law school and gets an internship at the Gotham City District Attorney's office during her first year. After Chill is murdered for testifying against Mafia boss Carmine Falcone, Bruce reveals to Rachel that he intended to kill Chill himself. Rachel is horrified, and tells Bruce that his late parents would have been ashamed of him. Soon afterward, Bruce leaves the United States and Rachel continues her studies in law school. Years later, she becomes an Assistant District Attorney. She also has a brief relationship with her boss, District Attorney Carl Finch.

Batman BeginsEdit

"Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about making yourself feel better, which is why we have an impartial system."
―Rachel Dawes to Bruce Wayne

Rachel overall dedicates her career to eliminating crime in Gotham City, which made her enemies of Falcone and Dr. Jonathan Crane, Arkham Asylum's chief psychiatrist, who is in Falcone's pocket. Falcone eventually sends two thugs to kill her. She apparently anticipated that Falcone would attempt to kill her and carried a tazer on her, which she threatened to use on one of the thugs in front of her, although the thug fled mostly because his partner (who followed her off the train) had been beaten down by the arrival of Batman. She is rescued by Gotham's mysterious vigilante, Batman, who also supplied her with incriminating photographs relating to a judge so she'd have the method of ensuring that Falcone is sent to jail when the time came. Around the same time, Bruce returns to Gotham. Rachel is surprised that he didn't call her, and is later disappointed that he has apparently become a selfish playboy.

Later, Crane drugs her with his fear toxin at Arkham while she is evaluating Falcone, who has suffered a psychotic breakdown. Batman rescues her again, administers an antidote and tells her that Crane is working with a terrorist organization called the League of Shadows. He then gives her instructions for a plan to save the city from the League's attack. Rachel delivers samples of an anti-toxin to Batman's ally, Gotham City Police Department detective James Gordon. The League starts a riot in one of Gotham's slums, and Rachel is trapped. Crane, who has now assumed the criminal alter ego of "The Scarecrow", attacks her again. She defends herself and a boy caught in the riot by firing a taser at the insane doctor. Soon, the city is overrun by Arkham's inmates, whom the League has released, and Rachel and the boy are surrounded by lunatics led by Falcone's henchman, Victor Zsasz. Batman saves them at the last minute, however, and gives Rachel a hint to his secret identity. As Rachel realizes that her masked savior is Bruce, he leaves to save the remaining innocent bystanders.

One morning after the riot was over, Rachel goes to the ruins of Wayne Manor, which had been burned down by the League, and reconciles with Bruce. Despite their mutual attraction, Rachel decides they can't be together if he is determined to lead a double life. She kisses him goodbye and leaves him to fulfill his destiny, hoping he will come back to her when Batman is no longer needed in Gotham.

The Dark KnightEdit

Rachel, by this time, is the assistant DA to Harvey Dent, a man who is challenging the mob in Gotham in a legal way. She has also started dating him, creating a love triangle between herself, Dent, and Bruce.

When the mob hires the Joker to kill Batman out of desperation, the Joker says he will kill people until Batman reveals his identity. Despite Bruce's initial reluctance to give in to the Joker demands he finally decides to turn himself in not wanting anyone else to die because of him. He then asks Dent to assemble a press confrence in which he will show his true identity and be arrested. Afterward Rachel tries to convince Bruce not to turn himself, but he remains firm in his decision. Bruce then kisses Rachel hoping that the two will be together once he reveals his identity. Harvey, realizing how important Batman is, says that he is the Batman in order to keep the real Batman free. Rachel confronts Alfred about this deception, but Alfred simply suggests that Bruce and Harvey both recognise that Batman represents something more than a man.This is when Rachel realizes Bruce tends to use Harvey as bait to capture the Joker as he tries to kill him. The plan appears to a success when Batman and Commissioner Gordon capture him.

"Harvey. It's okay, it's alright. Listen. Somewh -" ―Last Words of Rachel Dawes[src]

But during this time, Joker manipulates two cops into bringing Dent and Dawes to different buildings in the city. There, both of them are tied up with bombs and barrels of gasoline surrounding them, along with a radio that allowed the two of them to speak to each other. Joker reveals the locations to Batman and the police during his interrogation, but deliberately switches the locations. Batman sets out to save Dawes, while Gordon goes to rescue Dent, unaware of the falsehood in Joker's words until Batman arrives at the storage to find Dent, not Dawes as he believes, inside. Still, Batman manages to get Dent out- arriving moments after Rachel had told Harvey that she would marry him, having previous requested time to consider his proposal, although half of his face is caught on fire and hideously burnt in the explosion that occurs seconds after their escape from the building. However, Gordon arrives too late to save Rachel, and she dies when the bombs surrounding her are detonated, her last words assuring Harvey that it is okay for him to be saved instead of her. Her body was never recovered for it was vaporized in the explosion.

Earlier before her abduction and death, Rachel left Alfred a note for Bruce, leaving it unsealed so Alfred could also read it and know the right time for Bruce to read it. She explains in the letter that because she truly loves Harvey and thinks that Bruce will not be able to give up his life as Batman, she is going to marry Harvey (but that she will always love Bruce and he will remain his friend). Alfred goes to give it to Bruce after her death, but instead takes it back moments later when he decides it's not yet time, and then later burns it when he hears that Bruce is sure that she would have waited for him, knowing that it would never be the right time, recognising that - just as Batman and Gordon would later sacrifice Batman's reputation to preserve Harvey's - sometimes people need the lies to fulfill their hopes.

The Dark Knight RisesEdit

Following the deaths of Rachel and Dent, Bruce has retired into seclusion for eight years, seeing his only chance for a normal life destroyed along with Rachel. When Bane attacks Gotham City, Bruce decides to return to his crimefighting life to oppose him, and in an attempt to stop him, Alfred finally reveals to Bruce that Rachel chose Dent and that he burned the letter in order to spare Bruce the pain. This revelation puts a severe strain on Bruce's relationship with Alfred, who leaves Wayne Manor when Bruce decides to continue as Batman. Throughout the film, Bruce keeps a picture of Rachel. After Bruce and his allies defeat Bane, Talia al Ghul and the rest of the League of Shadows, Bruce retires his role as Batman after fulfilling his vows to turn Gotham into a city of order. He passes his legacy as Gotham's Dark Knight to Detective Robin John Blake, and enters a relationship with Selina Kyle, effectively proving that Rachel was wrong about Bruce not being able to move on from being Batman.


Behind the scenesEdit

  • Rachel is an original character created for the films, and has no comic book counterpart.
  • Rachel's eyes go from dark brown (Emma Lockhart), to hazel (Katie Holmes), to blue (Maggie Gyllenhaal).